TOKYO (December 21) – Asian Games champion Kohei Hasegawa edged collegiate national champion Shota Tanokura to win his fifth straight national title at 55kg in greco-roman on the first day of the All-Japan wrestling national championships.
Hasegawa, who dropped only one period in his four wins at Yoyogi National Gymnasium, later said he will now turn his attention to securing a berth at the London 2012 Olympic Games by winning the Asian qualifying tourney in March.
"I really focused on improving myself this year, but was unable to get the results I wanted at the world championships," said Hasegawa, who fell one win shy of qualifying for the London Games with an eighth-place finish.
"There will be many strong wrestlers at the Asian qualifier, but in the end I hope to be a neck in front of all the others," Hasegawa said. The top two wrestlers in each of the 18 men's and women's weight categories contested in Astana, Kazakhstan will earn a berth for the 2012 Games.
Meanwhile, 2010 world silver medalist Ryutaro Matsumoto cruised to his third All-Japan crown in a row at 60kg in greco-roman, while younger brother, Atsushi Matsumoto, earned his first title in men's freestyle at 84kg.
The younger Matsumoto upended reigning national champ Shinya Matsumoto 2-0 (1-1, 2-0) in a second-round pairing and then defeated former Nippon Sports Science University teammate Naoki Monma in the championship final.
Also, in men's freestyle, Takao Isokawa won his third straight All-Japan crown at 96kg, while Nobuyoshi Arakida won his third title in four years at 120kg.
In women's freestyle, world bronze medalist Takako Saito defended her crown at 59kg and junior world champ Sara Dosho won at 67kg to become the first second-year high school student to win an All-Japan title in nine years. Makiko Sakamoto won the 48kg category as a second-year high school student in 2002.
Results of championship final and semifinal matches:
55kg (16 entries)
F1 – Kohei Hasegawa df. Shota Tanokura, 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF – Hasegawa df. Hayanobu Shimizu, 2-0 (3-0, 1-0)
SF – Tanokura df. Tsubasa Ogata, 2-1 (0-1, 3-2, 2-0)
60kg (18 entries)
F1 – Ryutaro Matsumoto df. Kazuma Kuramoto, 2-0 (6-2=1:51, 2-0)
SF – Matsumoto df. Yoshitaka Kido, 2-0 (3-0, 1-0)
SF – Kuramoto df. Ryuji Amemiya, 2-0 (4-0, 1-0)
84kg (20 entries)
F1 – Atsushi Matsumoto df. Naoki Monma, 2-0 (3-2, 7-1=1:38)
SF – Matsumoto df. Tetsuro Asami, 2-0 (5-0, 4-0)
SF – Monma df. Takeshi Yamaguchi, 2-1(1-0, 0-1, 2-1)
96kg (13 entries)
F1 – Takao Isokawa df. Takahiro Shimonaka, 2-1 (0-1=2:04, 1-0, 3-0=2:04)
SF – Isokawa df. Yuji Fukui, 2-0 (5-0, 6-0=1:42)
SF – Shimonaka df. Yasuhisa Irie, 2-0 (3-1, 3-1)
120kg (13 entries)
F1 – Nobuyoshi Arakida df. Yutaro Baba, 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)
SF – Arakida df. Yuto Aizawa by fall, 2P=0:43 (0-1, F3-0)
SF – Baba df. Tsutomu Takabayashi, 2-0 (4-0, 2-1)
59kg (12 entries)
F1 – Takako Saito df. Kayoko Shimada, 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF – Saito df. Ayaka Ito, 2-0 (1-0=2:29, 1-0)
SF – Shimada df. Yurika Ito, 2-1 (2-0=2:05, 1-1x=last, 3-0=2:05)
67kg (7 entries)
F1 – Sara Dosho df. Chiaki Iijima, 2-1 (3-0, 0-1=2:08, 1-0)
SF – Dosho df. Chihiro Hashimoto, 2-0 (2-0, 3-0)
SF – Iijima df. Yuka Masuo, 2-0 (3-1, 4-3)